WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) introduced a bill Wednesday to end taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood for a year while they are investigated for possible illegal practices.
Specifically, the bill, Defund Planned Parenthood Act, would set a one-year moratorium on Planned Parenthood funding from the government, unless the organization ceases performing abortions. This would allow more federal dollars to go toward organizations like community health centers, which serve low-income populations and provide direct health care to women across the country.
“The recent videos uncovering Planned Parenthood’s inhumane abortion practices have hit a nerve with many Americans,” said Lankford. “While the government investigates Planned Parenthood to determine if their practice of adapting their abortion procedures to harvest the organs of children violates federal law, they should not continue to receive taxpayer money. Planned Parenthood receives more than $500 million in taxpayer money every year.
“This is a sensitive topic for many and I am aware our nation is divided on the issue of abortion, but it is common sense that we shouldn’t force taxpayers to assist the harvesting of human organs.”
Although abortion services account for about 3 percent of Planned Parenthood’s activities, serving about 10 percent of its clients, they perform over 300,000 abortions a year.
Last Thursday, Lankford delivered a passionate speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate about Planned Parenthood. Lankford also wrote an op-ed calling for Congress to end taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood and take up the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (S.1553) to ban abortions after five months.
Lankford has also signed onto two letters to the Obama Administration regarding investigations into Planned Parenthood. Lankford joined a letter, led by Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), to Attorney General Loretta Lynch and the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell Tuesday requesting a full investigation into whether they violated federal law prohibiting the sale of human fetal tissue for profit.
Lankford also joined a letter, led by Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), today to Secretary Burwell, requesting the immediate preservation of all department records that could be related to funding Planned Parenthood.